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Questions for Dr. Kennedy
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rapid heart beat+red eyes
Posted by: Sam
Date: February 1, 2001 7:05 PM

I have been drinking alcohol for 3 days a week for more then two decades, I also am smoking about 10 cigarettes a day. Lately after having a drink or two my eyes become bloodshot red and I get shortness of breath and my heart starts beating very rapidly. I get pain sometimes in my back and the joints in my hands. this usually subsides after two hours. My craving for cigarettes has gone down, and I feel constipated all the time. My doctor feels that it is poor functioning of the liver, and asked me to do a liver and lipid profile. my age is 42yrs. sex is male. the result of the test are

AST (S G O T) 17 IU/L
ALT (S G P T) 38 IU/L
Total BILIRUBIN 0.6 mg/dl
conj, dir. bilirubin 0.4 mg/dl
unconj. bilirubin 0.2 mg/dl
cholesterol (enzymatic) 90* mg/dl *=rechecked
total protein 7.2 Gm/dl
albumin 4.1 Gm/dl
globulin 3.1 Gm/dl
A/G ration 1.32
alk, phosphatase 74 IU/L
fasting blood sugar is 82 mg/dl.
triglycerides(tg) 50 mg/dl
total cholestrol (tc) 90 mg/dl
hdl cholestrol (hdlc) 50 md/dl
ldl cholesterol (ldlc) 30 mg/dl
vldl cholesterol 10 mg/dl

After studying my report the doctor has just advised me to abstain from alcohol and take a small walk everyday. I am very happy that maybe I can kick my smoking habit, but I like to drink once a week. Please help me.

RE: alcohol and cigarettes
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.
Date: February 2, 2001 2:32 AM

You are an alcoholic. You might as well give up and throw in the towel if you intend to try to continue to drink a little. For you, it is absolute abstinence or nothing. Alcoholism has a physical and a spiritual side. The spiritual side is best dealt with through the 12 step AA program. Some people are too proud to submit themselves to it, and they are truly lost. Now for the physical side. You are not only addicted, but when you try to stop you get withdrawal symptoms. These are caused by the release of toxic stores from your cells which overwhelm the entire system. You go back to your toxins as a way of forcing toxins back into the cells, the evil genie back in the bottle, so to speak. A person in your situation must first really want to be free of the addiction and the toxic condition, then you need a person to work with you who really understands detoxification. By the way, it appears from your lab tests that your nutritional fats, cholesterol and triglycerides, etc. are pretty much dissolved by the alcohol. This will give you clean arteries, but it will destroy your health otherwise. In fact, it sounds like your heart is already starting to fail. Find the right doctor and get detoxified and go to AA (and keep going for life). As to the smoking, this is pure self-destruction. It's your life, and you can do what you want to do with it, but there are probably people out there who love you. Think of them.

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